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The China Study: Frustrations & Realizations

February 16, 2011

Today is a hungry day for me! I had leftover soup from last night along with an apple for lunch, but I was hungry for my yogurt and fruit pretty quickly after that.

Droid pic

My stomach was still grumbling, so dinner had to happen pretty quickly after getting home. I wanted something simple after taking time to make the soup last night, so I threw together a great meal using some new products that I picked up from the store.

First up was a whole wheat wrap filled with spinach hummus, 1/2 an avacado, spinach, yellow pepper, tomato, and a few white beans.

Rounding out the meal was Whole Food’s version of Wheat Thins along with a new citrus fruit…a minneola? Very orange-like. It was great!

And for dessert tonight I’m going to try a new Luna Bar flavor. I am a die-hard Smores fan, but since I finally found the new ones I figured I’d give Chocolate Chunk a shot.

The China Study: Frustrations & Realizations

So I just finished the part of the book where Dr. Campbell explains the studies and implications. He has gone through breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, and autoimmune diseases, as well as touching upon bone, kidney, eye and brain diseases. Some of the most interesting findings to me were that “cow’s milk consumption in children zero to fourteen years of age in twelve countries shoes an almost perfect correlation with Type 1 Diabetes” (190), and also the link between animal protein and bone fracture. Isn’t it strange that in America we are told that we need milk for our bones, yet though we have one of the highest calcium consumption rates we still have one of the highest rates of bone fracture? There is medical reason for that, and it’s explained in the book!

Despite the plethora of information in these chapters, I found myself getting frustrated. Not all of the studies are quite as concrete as I would have hoped. Sometimes there are multiple variables so it is hard to say that diet is the sole cause, and sometimes all that is shown is that a plant-based diet aides in preventing or suppressing the disease instead of being the 100% tried and true cure. I wanted this book to tell me that a plant-based diet was the only way!  I wanted to have some cold hard facts that I could tell others when I’m questioned about my lifestyle.

But then I realized what Dr. Campbell’s intent was all along. It isn’t necessarily that a plant-based diet is the only way to prevent and cure health problems, but instead that a plant-based diet helps to prevent and cure nearly every. single. health problem. With so much evidence, whether it be entirely concrete or not, why not adopt a whole foods, plant-based diet? Why not eat in a way that has been shown to lower risk for disease and even cure some disease once it has started? When all of these studies are taken together the one common denominator is that a change in diet provided very substantial benefit for each person in them. Why continue to eat the foods that have been shown to further disease and cancer growth?

Granted, there are tons of answers to this question. You like meat. It’s easier. You’d rather just enjoy yourself now and have an “I’ll die when I die” mentality. Dr. Campbell addresses these, and the last one in particular. At age 70 now he is still able to run every single day, while many of his former classmates are in nursing homes or already deceased. He said that he is extremely glad that he is able to enjoy the present as well as the future. My personal response to people when they say “I’ll die when I die” is that they likely won’t feel that way when they aren’t able to see their children get married or play with their grandkids.


The next part of the book gets into Dr. Campbell’s diet recommendations, and then he explains why we have been fed “lies” about food and health for so long. I’m excited, but still skeptical. I haven’t given up my dairy quite yet….;)


  • How important is it to you to take charge of your health?
  • Do you think it is possible to make health a priority yet still enjoy life to the fullest?
11 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2011 9:23 pm

    I think taking charge of your health is the most important thing you can do for yourself now and for your future. To me, making health a priority is all about balance. What works for me, may not entirely work for someone else. I think the idea behind a “plant based diet” is awesome, but it’s not practical for me. I try to make good choices and eat whole foods as often as possible – but would I enjoy life if I never had a burger and fries or a huge piece of chocolate cake ever again? Absolutely not. My health motto is: everything in moderation 🙂

  2. February 16, 2011 9:31 pm

    It’s becoming more important to me. Admittedly, I have spent the last three decades eating tons of processed foods, artificial sweetener, and tons of animal products. I wish I’d figured it all out earlier (I’m 35), but at the same time, better late than never. Right now, I’m taking baby steps. That’s why I started my blog. I’m starting by menu planning (thus to avoid giving my kid Chef Boyardee all the time), and regular grocery shopping. This was a new year’s resolution, btw, so it basically started Jan 1. Now, 1.5 months in, things are going great, so I’m continuing to take baby steps. Lately, I’ve been trying to eat less meat. I’ll be cooking tofu parmesan tomorrow night!!!

  3. February 16, 2011 9:59 pm

    I love this post! I’m slowly but surely making my way through The China Study also. It’s coming pretty slowly due to the amount of schoolwork I have, but so far it’s been very interesting. For the first time this year, I heard about the relation between cow’s milk and Type 1 diabetes in young children, which is especially relevant to me, as a Type 1 diabetic. To me that means that my children (one day) shouldn’t drink cow’s milk. At all. Since they’ll already be more likely to have Type 1 diabetes, I want to take any steps I can to prevent that from happening.

    And to answer your questions, taking care of my health is a huge priority to me. I do everything I can to ensure that I’m as healthy as possible now so that I can enjoy a full life! Eating healthy makes me feel so good now and I know it’ll benefit me in the future as well.

  4. laura permalink
    February 16, 2011 11:36 pm

    I call those orange things tangelos- love em!

  5. squigglefloey permalink
    February 17, 2011 12:05 am

    Eee I love your nail polish! I know, I probably only notice the things in your post that are just sidelines. 😛

  6. February 17, 2011 7:04 am

    I think you can ONLY live life to the fullest by being healthy!!! i truly agree wit that and believe that i just think so many ppl dont realize it until they’ve experienced it!

  7. February 17, 2011 8:35 am

    Thanks again for sharing your perspectives–very helpful. I think one needs to decide where to draw the line–for some, it means eating meat; for others it means being vegan; for some, it means going even further and avoiding dry cleaning, processed foods, and all of the other places where toxins can lurk. I try to strike a middle ground but it’s tough!

  8. February 17, 2011 1:53 pm

    Great post! I have been so curious about this book and plan to purchase it this weekend. I am giving strong consideration to adopting a high-raw vegan diet (or at least attempting it and seeing how it goes) so I want to do as much research as possible before taking the plunge!

    As for your question, I absolutely think you can make your health a priority and still enjoy yourself. Maybe I’m a weirdo, but I actually ‘enjoy’ taking charge of my health! I know not everyone does though, so for those people, I think it is still possible. I was the queen of eating all the wrong foods and sacrificing my health to gratify my tastebuds, but I think what a lot of people don’t realize is that when you start to give your body healthy, nutritious foods, after awhile your tastebuds actually adapt and that’s what you crave and desire to eat, at least this has been true for me. Plus there are so many ways to make tasty treats without using junk ingredients. It just takes extra work! Now do I still want cookies or cake from time to time, of course! But I think if the majority of what I’m eating is natural, nutritious foods, small indulgences here and there won’t be detrimental to my health and I can still maintain that balance and enjoy myself.

    On another note-What on earth is a minneola?! 😉 Love discovering new fruit. I’m going to look for this at the grocery store now!


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